Therapy Dogs vs. Service Dogs

What's the Difference Between a Therapy Dog and Service Dogs?

Service Dogs

Service dog
  • Provided to people with disabilities that need aided assistance
  • Trained to perform specific tasks that would ease their handler's disability 
    • Training is specific to one person only
  • Usually have a "no petting" policy 
    • Interacting with other people can distract them from performing their tasks

Here's a list of a few Service Dog Organizations:

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs working
  • Trained to interact with a variety of people
  • Usually have stable temperaments and have a friendly, easy-going personality
  • Help provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals other than their handler
    • They help provide comfort and joy to people they encounter
  • They visit people in various social settings such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes, etc.
  • PAC Teams are certified to perform animal-assisted therapy through Pet Partners